For guys who get regular manicures and pedicures, have you ever been at your staple nail salon and noticed that there’s a slight price discrepancy between a “regular” mani/pedi and a “man’s” mani/pedi? Now, we’re all for being chivalrous and, it’s true, statistically ladies still visit nail salons more than men, but aren’t all fingers and toes basically the same?
That’s a question that’s been buzzing around a good majority of NYC nail salons, believe it or not. Many establishments have differentiated when it comes to gender and nail care. Though an extra $2 doesn’t seem like a huge price difference, those few dollars add up, especially for guys that regularly get their nails done. With men grooming their nails becoming a more popular urban ritual, salons have capitalized on this emerging market, charging guys up to $5 more than they would a woman on nail care services. However, it seems like that era is ending.
Since 2015, over 150 New York City businesses have been fined for violating an uncommonly known proviso: gender-pricing discrimination. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs began cracking down on enforcement of the law last year when it issued 580 gender-pricing violations to salon establishments, more than double the 212 slapped wrists from the year before. And it wasn’t because the guys were tattling on them either! Almost all of the violations came from sweeps rather than complaints because salons weren’t rectifying the problem on their own. The fines for first-time violations range from $50 to $200 while those for multiple-time offenders are $100 to $500.
The argument is that guys take more effort for manicurists to fully clean their nails. They’re hands are usually bigger and men hold the more dirty, gritty, physically laborious jobs that women usually don’t do, putting more wear on their hands and feet. We get that maintaining a business is hard when it comes to money, especially in NYC. But now the question now is, with the plethora of places asked to reevaluate their prices, will salons start charging women $12 for a manicure also, rather than letting the dudes in on the $10 deal? If so, it would legitimately make this new enforcement the most irritating stride toward gender equality in history. Fingers crossed, ladies.
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